It’s a funny thing reviewing a Christian album. With every crticism and judgement, there’s an undeniable sense of guilt. How can I point to the negative and potentially discourage others that may find a blessing in this body of work? After all, while quality is important, it is the message that matters most; what right do I have to appraise another man’s praise?
However, any artistic effort is available for critique and fortunately, Emmanuel ‘Da’ T.R.U.T.H.’ Lambert helps to minimize any sense of personal conviction; his work is that good.
It’s no secret that Da’ T.R.U.T.H. took a recent ‘L’ in his bout with Satan; and with God’s help, has been able to bounce back from what could’ve been his personal, spiritual and professional demise. On ‘The Whole Truth’—an obvious double-entendre meant to represent his personal restoration and the transparency on this album—Truth opens up about his fall and rise.
The album opens with the thumping track “Lights” and Truth wastes no time setting the tone of the album’s message. Rapping candidly over a roar of instrumentals and rumbling for cinematic effect, this song is easily one of Truth’s best. Thereafter, highlights include the album’s title track where DT proclaims that “God is good and Doctor Jesus got a lot of patience (patients).”
“Forgiveness” is a personal favorite, as it possesses you to humbly embrace your most bitter enemy. Quotes include:
“Forgiveness is a choice.
Disappointment and anger give bitterness a voice.
But I gotta swallow my pride and follow my God ’til I finish this course….
You say ‘I can’t forgive, I can’t forget.
They apologize, I can’t accept.’
Demand respect. Imagine that…
When every time you sinned, God cancelled debt.”
With punch lines as sharp as a tack, Truth has always been regarded as one of the (if not, THE) best Christian lyricist around (“…my love for God’ll wain [Wayne] like Cash Money”). However, there are occasional underwhelming punch lines that can be distracting: “I know I reap what I sow/sew, like Betsy Ross” and “It’s all about application like the iPhone. I got hang ups like dial tones.” Other missteps include the hard-to-listen-to chorus on “Freedom.” While Donielle Rodwell may be vocally equipped, the chorus is amateurish forcing her to try to do much with very little.
But, there’s something missing in rap nowadays that can only be summed up in one word: passion. Believability….TRUTH. If Jennifer Holliday (and Jennifer Hudson) didn’t plead on that Dreamgirls song with all of her heart, wouldn’t it be just another really nice love song? Or if Marshall Mathers’ sense of do-or-die desperation wasn’t apparent on “Lose Yourself,” I think we’d simply think of it as a well-written rap song.
But when passion co-exists with talent, the performing arts come alive. Da’ T.R.U.T.H. has endured the fight of his life and the quality of his work is evident of just that. There is an abundance of greatness on this project and this album is indeed a triumph. For those looking for something to dance to, drive to, enhance you or cry to, it’s all here—and that’s “the whole truth….nothing but it.”